Sunday, September 07, 2008

Federal Takeover of Mortgage Finance Companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

RPT-UPDATE 1-US Treasury sets news conference;GSE plan expected; Rueters; 7 Sept 2008.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director James Lockhart will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. (1500 GMT) on Sunday, the Treasury Department said.

The officials are expected to announce plans for a federal takeover of mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae (FNM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Freddie Mac (FRE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz). FHFA regulates the two companies, the largest sources of U.S. home mortgage finance.

The move to take control of the two companies, which could amount to the largest financial bailout in U.S. history, is a bid to ward off further damage to a housing market in its deepest downturn since the Great Depression.

Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, told The Washington Post the federal government was expected to control the companies for at least a year as it considers whether they should remain government-run, or be restructured.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own or guarantee almost half of the country's $12 trillion in outstanding home mortgage debt. They have suffered combined losses of nearly $14 billion in the past four quarters.

In an emergency move in July, the U.S. Congress gave the Treasury the authority to extend an undetermined amount of credit to the companies or take a stake in them if they ran into trouble.

Comment: We are going to get screwed and pay hundreds of billions of dollars because Congress and the U.S. Government are incompetent morons.

I can't help but believe we are moving rapidly to socialism, and no doubt Obama and McCain will give a thumbs up. Yet citizens think there are two parties, right.

2 comments:

Andy said...

Takeover has happened. Monday should be an interesting day in the market.

Anonymous said...

If we're going to hold their hands for at least a year, and pay up to 200 billion dollars to make them solvent, we should privatize and break them up, a la AT&T. Perhaps the pieces could be sold to other mortgage companies as well.

Mike P.